Every year more than two trillion search queries are made on Google. A strong SEO strategy can be a difference-maker for generating more leads and getting found by customers. This represents thousands of “low-hanging-fruit” opportunities to align your company, product, or service with those who are searching and ready to buy. Brands who don’t have one are leaving easy money on the table. In this e-book, we will explore what makes a good SEO strategy and the steps needed to develop one.
Put simply, search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of making your site and content easier to find by search engines. However, in an ever-changing landscape of best practices, tools, marketing services, and Google algorithm updates, it can quickly become overwhelming for marketers to choose where to begin SEO and what areas to focus on for the best ROI. Before embarking on any SEO tactics, having a sound strategy can help define a path and expected outcomes. A comprehensive SEO strategy will include these items:
SEO Strategy & Planning –
- Audience definition
- Website, rankings, and Google tools audit
- Goals and objectives
- Technical SEO
- Offsite SEO
- Local SEO (if applicable)
What isn’t an SEO Strategy? There are many other disciplines that are sometimes lumped in with SEO. Digital marketing is a large umbrella, and while SEO definitely falls under that, it is easy to confuse related subjects.
Here are things that fall under digital marketing that are not SEO:
- Conversion rate optimization
- Social media strategy
- PPC advertising
- Marketing automation
A successful SEO strategy starts with the fundamentals.
- SEO Audience Definition
Who is coming to your website? More importantly, who do you want to come to your website? Answering these questions is fundamental to driving the right kind of traffic to your website. You need a clear understanding of who your prospect is and what their search intent and context are.
Intent – what’s the prospect of hunting?
Channel– Where if the advantage resides?
Context – Are they looking for it?
Optimization – How can the prospect locate the asset?
Asset – What advantage will suit their hunt?
Ascension – what’s the next step from consumer travel?
To really have a sound platform to work off, you ideally would have well-defined customer personas and a customer journey map.
Shows why some buyers create your solution class a tactical priority while others choose the standing current.
Prove what consumers expect to alter following implementing your answer, and also why.
Reveals why some buyers won’t perceive your company or solution as their best option.
The Buyer Journey
Shows which buyers take part in the choice and what tools they expect to direct their choices.
Prove what standards buyers use to appraise alternative choices and create a buying decision, and the reason why.
- Understanding Your Current State
Website, rankings, and tools audit
Part of a sensible SEO strategy will be a firm understanding of your current state of affairs. This includes working on a few technical website audits to clarify where your shortcomings are and where you currently rank. Why is this important? Well, you might uncover some technical roadblocks on your website that may take time and money to resolve. It’s better to find out if there are issues up front rather than waiting until executing your plan.
SEO Website Audit
Thankfully, the audit process has been greatly improved by the use of SEO tools and services. Basically, a tool can crawl your site and look for known technical issues and report back. Most tools will report some sort of grade and give you a prioritized list of issues to fix.
Some great tools we use for website audits are:
• Screaming Frog
• Google Lighthouse
The more premium tools also offer keyword research tools and competitor insights.
Keyword rankings and search results Ask yourself these three questions:
To determine your current keywords, some of the above-mentioned tools can analyze your current visibility.
Another key observation is the number of pages you are currently ranking for. This is easily accomplished by turning the search engine on your site. Type this into the search bar site: yoursite.com. This will give you an idea of how many of your pages are in Google’s index. Does the number seem high, low or just about right?
Google Tools Audit
Ensuring that your suite of Google tools are properly configured is the most crucial step in an SEO strategy. You must ensure that Google Analytics is properly configured, the website has been submitted to Google and that you are taking advantage of tag management.
Remember Google’s tools are very powerful, but out of the box they are a one-size-fits-all configuration. Like any tool, they need to be set up by experts and tailored to your website, audience and traffic.
Google Analytics configuration questions:
• Are you filtering out your own traffic?
• Are you filtering out your vendors’ traffic?
• Are you filtering spam/bot traffic?
• Are you excluding self-referrals?
• Are you excluding spam referrals?
• Are your audiences segmented?
•Are goal conversions set up?
• Is site search enabled?
• Is your Google Ads account linked?
• Is Google Search Console linked?
• Are content groups enabled and correct?
• Is tracking code implemented properly?
Google Search Console:
• Are https and www/ non-www versions set up?
• Is the sitemap submitted?
• Is Robots.txt file submitted?
• Is the website verified?
• Are there any crawl errors?
• Are resources blocked?
• Are there security or malware issues?
• Are there 404 errors?
Google Tag Manager (GTM):
• Is GTM installed?
• What tags are implemented, and are they firing correctly?
• What events are being tracked?
• Is data being pushed to the data layer correctly?
• Is Google Analytics implemented through GTM?